MIND MELD: Sentenced to Read One Author for Life

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Your crime? You know what you did! Your sentence? A lifetime reading only one author. Sure, prison is great for catching up on your reading, but…

Q: If you were imprisoned for life and your genre-loving (but slightly deranged) warden allowed you to read work from the bibliography of only one author, who would you choose? Why?

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There is still some time left for you to enter our giveaway for The Buried Life by Carrie Patel…but hurry, time is running out!

See the original post for details on how to enter.

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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-04-16

Interviews & Profiles

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The winner of our giveaway for Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher has been chosen and notified.

Congratulations to: Mekaela S.! You will be receiving your prize soon!

Thanks to everyone who entered.

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[GUEST POST] S.G. Browne on The Writing Life


S.G. Browne is the author of the novels Big Egos, Lucky Bastard, Fated, Breathers, and the forthcoming Super Duper, as well as the novella I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus and the ebook collection Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel. He’s a Guinness aficionado, ice cream snob, and a sucker for It’s a Wonderful Life. He lives in San Francisco.

The Writing Life: We Are Not Alone

by S.G. Browne

“The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing: isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination and consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing, and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day.”

The above quote was taken from Robert De Niro’s presentation for the screenwriting category at the 2014 Academy Awards. I don’t know who wrote the words that De Niro spoke but whoever it was nailed writers to the post.
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NOTE: This installment of Special Needs In Strange Worlds features a guest post from author Michael j. Sullivan! – Sarah Chorn

Michael J. Sullivan is the author of The Riyria Revelations, The Riyria Chronicles, and his recently released science fiction thriller, Hollow World. He’s been published in just about every way there is including, small presses, self, and the big-five. He spends part of his time trying to help aspiring authors learn the intricacies of publishing through a regular column on Amazing Stories, and soon he’ll be featuring author interviews on Adventures in Science Fiction Publishing. Michael has written twenty-three novels, published nine, and has been translated into fifteen foreign languages. His works have appeared on more than eighty-five “best of” or “most anticipated” lists including those compiled by Library Journal, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and Audible.com.

Being Atypical in HOLLOW WORLD

by Michael J. Sullivan

I’ve been a big fan of Sarah Chorn for a really long time. Not just because of her amazing reviews, although that is reason enough, but because of her resiliency in weathering storms in her own life. Luckily for me, she’s a fan of my writing as well, and I’m grateful for her years of support. With the approaching release of Hollow World (April 15th from Tachyon Publications and Recorded Books), she invited me to do a guest post. So here I am.

I guess I should start out by setting the stage. Hollow World tells the story of Ellis Rogers, who travels far into the future (much further than he intended) in search of a cure for a recently diagnosed terminal illness. What he finds a world where disease, war, and even death has been eliminated. It sounds like utopia, and for some people it very well may be, but there’s a cost…isn’t there always a cost? In the case of Hollow World, genetic engineering has advanced to the point where everyone is identical, and trying to establish individuality in such an environment breeds its own set of problems.
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In episode 242 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester, Fred Kiesche, Gail Carriger, AJ Sikes, Django Wexler, and Jeff Patterson, discuss Military Science Fiction.

Questions asked include:

  • What makes up a good story for you?
  • What are some examples of your favorite books and authors?
  • What clicks with you as a reader?
  • What doesn’t click with you?
  • What would you like to see more of from the genre?
  • What would you like to see less of?
  • Bonus: Have you served and if so, do you read Military SciFi more critically because of your personal knowledge?

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SF/F Crowd Funding Roundup For 4/14/2014

Crowd funding is the in thing for obtaining money to fund a variety of projects, with Kickstarter being the most prominent of these sites. With new projects going live daily, it’s a chore to keep up with, let alone find, interesting genre projects. The Crowd Funding Roundup will be our effort to bring projects we think are interesting to your attention so you can, if you so choose, decide to help out. These posts are a collaborative effort between James Aquilone and JP Frantz.

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Joshua Palmatier has posted the table of contents for his upcoming kickstarted anthology Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens:

  1. “The Cavorite Job” by Ian Tregillis
  2. “Gracie’s Fire” by Leah Cutter
  3. “Quinta Essentia” by Bradley P. Beaulieu
  4. “When Comrade Ekaterina Died for the Motherland” by J.R. Hargenrader
  5. “A Clockwork Alien” by Gini Koch
  6. “Heart of the Empire” by Jason Palmatier
  7. “The Red Queen and the White” by C.B. Pratt
  8. “The Wizard of Woodrow Park” by Jean Marie Ward
  9. “Of War and Wings” by Tansy Rayner Roberts
  10. “Airship Down: A Sound and Fury Adventure” by Gail Z. Martin & Larry N. Martin
  11. “Steamsuit” by David J. Fortier
  12. “Fingers of Steam, Veins of Gold” by Brad Hafford
  13. “Heart of Clockwork” by S.C. Butler
  14. “Lady Antheia’s Guide to Horticultural Warfare” by Seanan McGuire

There’s also an Introduction by Patricia Bray.

[via Tansy Rayner Roberts]

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Fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones will like this (spoilery) parody that leverages a musical number from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. What’s not to like?

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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-04-15

Interviews & Profiles

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REVIEW SUMMARY: Epic Sword & Sorcery.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Freshly blooded from the defense of Lissen Carrak, the Red Knight and his company venture to Morea where they find themselves in the midst of a civil war. Elsewhere in the realm factions move one step closer toward total warfare. Alliances are made and schemes are fulfilled.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Larger-than-life characters; authentic descriptions; densely woven plot; bold scope; high stakes; complex and mysterious magic; enthralling action.
CONS: The large cast of the first book is expanded even further, and while the characters are well developed, it results in a slowed pace.
BOTTOM LINE: The sequel to one of my favorite novels of 2013 continues to deliver on the promise of the first book. This series is bound to please fans of Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, and likely even Historical Fiction.
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Tim Lebbon is the author of nearly thirty books, including The Island and, with Chris Golden, the acclaimed Hidden Cities series. He is the winner of numerous British Fantasy Awards and a Bram Stoker Award. He lives in the Welsh countryside with his wife and children.

His brand new book, Coldbrook, just came out from Titan, and since I loved the book so much, I was thrilled to ask Tim a few questions about it!


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the new book, COLDBROOK! I absolutely loved it. I hesitate to call it a zombie book, because it’s so much more, but what was your inspiration for it? Where did the idea come from?
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Seth Skorkowsky was born beneath the pine trees of East Texas and grew up with a love of camping and outdoors. His teen years were spent ingesting heavy doses of Dungeons & Dragons and Clive Barker novels, but attributes Fritz Leiber as the single greatest influence on the atmosphere of his fantasy writing. Later this year will see the publication of two short story collections, Mountain Of Daggers and Sea Of Quills. His first novel, DÄMOREN, was just published by Ragnarok Publications.

The Story Behind DÄMOREN

by Seth Skorkowsky

Every story has a different process in which it was created. When I decided to write Dämoren, I only had a few things to go on. I knew the rules in which demons could possess people and die. I had a holy revolver that could kill them. However, I still had no hero, no plot, and no conflict. The only other thing I had was a series of scene flashes that I wanted to show, but no real link between them.
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How about an exclusive eBook Deal?

For the next two weeks, SF Signal readers can buy an eBook copy of Wrede on Writing: Tips, Hints, and Opinions on Writing by Patricia C. Wrede for only $1.99! That’s 60% off its regular $4.99 price. (The paperback goes for $16.99.)

Here’s the book description:

How do I turn an idea into a novel? How do I build a character? How do I decide how to tell a story?

Patricia C. Wrede has been a stalwart of the sci-fi/fantasy world for decades, publishing dozens of books across multiple series, storming bestseller lists and corralling accolades from critics and fans alike. Now, with brilliant insight and a sparkling wit, Wrede shows beginning writers the ropes in WREDE ON WRITING.

How do I find the time to write? How do I decide when a book is finished? How do I get my book published?

Wrede tackles all issues for writers, from the basic how-to’s to the more advanced topics on character development and worldbuilding. In her conversational tone, she gives writers the tips and tricks her experience has brought. After WREDE ON WRITING, authors will have the knowledge to put their tools to better use. Thinking of starting a book? Trying to finish one? WREDE ON WRITING will guide you towards that superior draft to send to agents, to publishers, and to readers.

How do I calculate royalties? How do I plan my finances as an author? How do I write as a career?

Before she became a successful full-time writer, Patricia C. Wrede worked in finance, and she also provides for authors an extensive look at how to manage the money—from royalties to determining the financial potential of your next project, Wrede provides authors with deep insight into the business of writing.

A brilliant guide from a literary stalwart, WREDE ON WRITING is the book everyone with a novel under their beds or inside their heads should read.

Purchase the book here to take advantage of this deal.

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The folks over at VODO have assembled an eclectic mix of science fiction media in a single, pay-what-you-want bundle. The basic Otherworlds Bundle includes the following movies, games, comics, books and music:

  • Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales Of The Here And Now [[Book] – Graphic novel of six stories by Cory Doctorow.
  • Bientôt L’été [Game] – Heavily atmospheric game for two players. Existential!
  • 2145 [Audio] – Dark Ambient music from Sabled Sun
  • The Surrogates [Book] – Acclaimed five-part comic series. NY Times Bestseller.
  • Blink [Film] – 4 tightly-crafted visions of beyond in 1 short film.

But there’s more!
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Yeah, a few days late with this post…but last week at the Kirkus Review blog, I look at the latest round of speculative fiction books turning into movies.

Check out Read Them Now, Watch Them Later: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Adaptation Watch over on the Kirkus Reviews blog.

Check it out!

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Books Received: April 14, 2014

In the interest of full disclosure, here are the books we received this week.
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There is still some time left for you to enter our giveaway for Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter…but hurry, time is running out!

See the original post for details on how to enter.

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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-04-14

Interviews & Profiles

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